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Four Options for Church Leaders to Try

September 27, 2012

Are you working hard and getting nowhere at church? Perhaps it's time for a different approach. When my son was in high school I asked him, "How predictable am I?" "Pretty predictable," he answered. I realized it might be time to develop a wider repertoire as a parent and a person.

The same is true in ministry. Over time, we all have our favorite patterns in our leadership. A few common ones: trying to convince others, getting caught up in the status quo, and trying to prop up the negative or discouraged.

Here are four options for leaders to try. The key to this kind of experimentation is not to view it as a magic technique to get others to respond differently, but to use it as a way for you to get looser and lighter in your leadership.

1. Tell people what you want. Practice saying, "Here's what I want." Don't worry if people agree or don't agree. Whether it's new staff or a paint job or a thrilling program you can't wait to try, tell them what you want.

2. Pick one new goal you'd like to work on and see if you can get there: one new adult study group. One new element in worship, strategically chosen and implemented. One new outreach program. Don't pick five. Just one.

3. Spend more time with the people who are excited about the church and less with the nay-sayers. Try it for three months and see what happens. (My prediction: you'll have more energy.)

4. Choose someone you think has potential for leadership and have coffee with them once a month. Learn more about them. See what emerges from your conversations.

Which of these four ideas seems easiest?

Which one seems hardest?

Which one would surprise your people the most?

Get the free mini-course, "Five Ways to Avoid Burnout in Ministry" at

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